Northern Italy is experiencing a craft beer boom with the number of micro breweries growing exponentially over the last five years. However, in many ways it’s still like Ireland in that you have to go looking for it. Many bars are happy with a single Peroni tap or, if you’re really lucky, some German beers. I’m going to skip over the misses and just share some highlights with you.
Starting with Archivio which I first visited last Autumn, you can read more here! This time round I had another Mastro Matto, the Schwarz, it was malty and sweet, not bad at all. But Crak’s Mundaka Session IPA was really good! It was zingy and fresh and I’d highly recommend it. I was told their other beers are of a similar standard if you come across them. Archivio is a pleasant bar with friendly staff and decent music in the background so check it out when in Verona. It’s only a short walk from Juliet’s balcony so it’d be rude not to.
Assobar in Bardolino is another very decent bar, they had nothing that grabbed me on draught but the menu had a fairly broad international range of craft beers listed. The lady recommended taking a look in their fridges. And yes, there were three fully stocked with something for every beer geek. Including just one Italian Craft Beer. Robb De Matt from Lambrate, a Rye IPA that’s light on Rye but is hoppy and drinkable enough to make a sunny afternoon even more enjoyable. As I once again perused the shelves of the fridge in was told, ‘not that one, it’s a standard Golden Ale, this one is much more interesting!’, always nice to get a steer when in uncharted waters.
Oh Deer Sour from Bevog is an Austrian Cherry Sour. Sours are lovely and refreshing and so, despite this being a Christmas release it still worked well on a warm April afternoon. And the guy was right; it was way more interesting than a Golden Ale!
The campsite I was staying at; Bella Italia in Peschiera del Garda was lovely but unusually, the Fish and Chips shop had the best draught selection in the place with Birra Antoniana’s Lager, Schneider Weisse Tap Seven and eh, Kilkenny.
The best discovery of the trip was Il Covo Beer House, also in Peschiera del Garda. Giacomo has six taps, all Italian Craft Beers and a range of bottles too. The Drunken Duck pub had been recommended to me but I wasn’t able to fit it on my itinerary this time round, luckily a lot of the beers on draught were supplied by The Drunken Duck Distribution so I had a sample of what they would offer.
Hammer’s Wave Runner IPA, Lariano’s La Gringa Pils and Il Birrone’s Cibus (?) were my favourites. All six were worth trying, and I did, over the course of two evenings.
Some tasty complimentary snacks were also provided. I have to say, I like the Italian habit of giving you some crisps or nuts beside your beer but Il Covo went over and above. So, please, make it your business to pay this lovely establishment a visit.
Biggest surprise of the trip was a street food festival in one of the squares in Peschiera del Garda. The Birra Di Classe Van was pouring seventeen beers from it’s side.
This impressive mobile operation was set up to promote Independent Italian Craft Beer and involved cutting a large restaurant fridge to fit it into the back of a van. Where there’s a will there’s a way! The Gøse Sal Aqua was another one from Lambrate and Giacomo from Il Covo had recommended it. T’was very tasty indeed. Nice and dry. The Truth IPA from East Side also tickled my tonsils. Keep an eye out for the big yellow van as they may be turning up at an Irish street food festival this year! Cheers for reading, hopefully this will be helpful to some of you on your summer holiday this year. Sláinte!